Salesforce Ventures made its first India investment on Tuesday by leading a $15 million Series C funding round in Hyderabad-based HR technology platform Darwinbox, operated by Darwinbox Digital Solutions, which was founded in 2015 by Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti and Rohit Chennamaneni. The company helps enterprises empower, engage and elevate the potential of their workforce through its hire-to-retire Human Capital Management (HCM) platform.
Salesforce Ventures which is the venture capital arm of the American CRM giant made its first India investment on Tuesday. It led a $15 million Series C funding round in Hyderabad-based HR technology platform Darwinbox, operated by Darwinbox Digital Solutions. Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners and 3one4 Capital were returning investors in the round.
Darwinbox co-founder Peddi said that the fresh investment would be utilised to introduce new solutions and advance the start-up’s R&D capabilities in deep technology. The CEO added that the company witnessed a surge in adoption during the pandemic, with over 180 remote implementations completed during the lockdown, and revenue growth of 200% during the same time. “Globally, more and more enterprises are abandoning legacy offerings in favour of our modern, agile HCM platform that helps them stay ahead of change,” co-founder Paleti stated.
Darwinbox, founded in 2015 by Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti and Rohit Chennamaneni, helps enterprises empower, engage and elevate the potential of their workforce through its hire-to-retire Human Capital Management (HCM) platform. It provides a cloud-based HR technology platform in a SaaS model and offers automation of employee lifecycle including recruitment, onboarding, attendance, expense management, payroll, employee engagement, performance management and people analytics. The company’s HR solution competes with those of SAP and Oracle, along with other vendors in the enterprise segment.
Recently Darwinbox had raised capital in September 2019, in a $15 million funding round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners and 3one4 Capital. The startup claims that its revenue has grown 300% since its last funding round. Currently, the company provides solutions to over 500 companies globally, including the Adani, Mahindra, Kotak, TVS, Arvind, NSE, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, Bharti AXA, Dr Reddy’s, Nivea, Puma, T-Systems, Swiggy, Bigbasket, and Delhivery. Its services are used by more than 1 million employees in 60 countries as per the statement. “In the next 1-2 years, we want to build a great product story from India, heavily invest in deep tech and product, and build out data analytics capabilities by leaning on Salesforce to actually maximise value for clients," Paleti said.
"We will be focused on markets such as the Middle East, Africa, and South-East Asia. We may also enter the US market. With Salesforce Ventures as the strategic investor, we will be able to scale globally and jointly enter the market with them. We will leverage the new investment to speed the introduction of exciting new solutions and advance R&D to deploy deep-technology capabilities," said Chaitanya.
In the present market, ADP Workforce Now, Workday HCM, SAP SuccessFactors, and UKG Pro (formerly Ultimate Software UltiPro) are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Darwinbox.
“As Asian conglomerates, governments, high growth businesses and MNCs operating in Asia witness digital transformation, Darwinbox has become their preferred human capital management solution,” stated Dev Khare, partner at investor Lightspeed India.